Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Steven Gerrard tells Aston Villa fans what they want to hear when analysing recent transfer business

Steven Gerrard Aston Villa May 2022

Steven Gerrard has labelled the signings of Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos as a ‘big coup’ for Aston Villa, and the manager thinks more players of that quality will join in the near future.

The Villans have shown plenty of ambition since Gerrard’s arrival in November last year. They got the ball rolling by landing Philippe Coutinho on a six-month loan from Barcelona.

Following some sharp displays from the attacking midfielder, he linked up with Aston Villa permanently this summer. The club has paid Barca £17million for his signature, with Coutinho penning a four-year contract at Villa Park.

Gerrard also helped to bring in Lucas Digne from Everton in January, who cost £25m.

As shown by those transfers, Villa have money to spend thanks to their wealthy owners. And the financial output has continued this summer.

Gerrard’s squad has been boosted by the captures of Carlos from Sevilla and Marseille’s Kamara.

Central defender Carlos signed in a £26m deal, while Kamara arrived on a free transfer after the expiry of his Marseille contract.

During an interview with Birmingham Live, Gerrard has revealed both Carlos and Kamara had offers from Champions League clubs, but chose to sign for Villa instead.

Steven Gerrard expects more big names to join Villa

And the manager has told the club’s fans exactly what they want to hear, predicting more UCL-quality stars to join in the next few transfer windows.

“We had the opportunity to get in front of both players and we had the opportunity to sell our vision of the club to really let them know where we want to go and how ambitious we want to be,” Gerrard said.

“They’re the type of players that we were looking for to recruit and bring in. There was no point in me trying to recruit players that were going to make us stand still. I didn’t want to recruit players just to add to the numbers. I wanted to make players that were good enough for the XI, to make a difference.

“Naturally, the squad will grow and will become better from that so, for them to say yes and to attract that calibre of player, as you say, are capable of playing Champions League and had options to play Champions League, is a big coup for this club.”

Gerrard continued: “They’ve settled really quick, they’ve shown their ability. They’ve shown their character and, more importantly, they’re here to win.

“They’re here to settle into the group very much as team players. Diego’s going to be a really big man and a leader for us at the back. You can see that straight away and Kamara’s going to give us style, he’s going to give us a passing range that I didn’t feel we had.

“Both players have played at a level where they know what winning matches is all about. They’ve played in European games, international competitions, so I’m delighted to have them both but it can’t stop here.

“When we get the opportunity again, whether that’ll be this window or moving forward, that’s the calibre of player that Aston Villa need to attract to be able to grow. If we want to disrupt the higher echelons of this league, we need top players.”

It is certainly an exciting time to be a Villa supporter. As recently as the 2018-19 campaign, they were playing in the Championship. But now the club is setting its sights on a return to European competition.

Players such as Coutinho, Carlos and Kamara will prove a massive help in reaching this goal. However, Steven Gerrard needs to get the best out of these stars if Villa are to crack the top 10 first.

Last season, the Villans only managed to finish 14th in the league. That put them behind the likes of Brighton, Crystal Palace and Brentford.

Meanwhile, a report has given an update on Villa youngster Carney Chukwuemeka, who is a target for several English clubs.